Thompson to vie for first ATP title in ‘s-Hertogenbosch
Jordan Thompson earned a chance to claim a first ATP trophy at 's-Hertogenbosch after eliminating in Rinky Hijikata in the first all-Australian ATP semifinal in 22 years.
The Libema Open is proving a career-defining tournament for Jordan Thompson;.
After reaching his only other ATP tournament in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in 2019, the Sydneysider earned the chance to lift a first tour-level trophy at the grass-court tournament with victory over fellow Australian Rinky Hijikata in their semifinal.
“It’s amazing,” said Thompson, following his 7-6(3) 6-3 progression against Hijikata, who had reached that stage of tournament for the first time in his career.
“Only two finals in my career and they happen to be in the same place.”
Game. Set. Match. 🏁
— Libéma Open🎾 (@LibemaOpen) June 17, 2023
Thompson is aiming to improve on his 2019 performance, when he finished runner-up to Adrian Mannarino , in the final against Dutch No.6 seed Tallon Griekspoor.
If the composure he showed against Hijikata is a measure, the 29-year-old Sydneysider is well prepared to take on the local player.
Thompson secured his victory in just under two hours, and while he defended the only break point he faced, he admitted it was tough to take on a fellow Australian.
“It’s very tricky. Another fellow countryman and) we’re both from the same place,” said Thompson.
“I’m older than him. I assume he would have looked up to us when we were in training, when he was younger.”
Experience ultimately proved most telling in the first all-Australian semifinal in 22 years – when Pat Rafter defeated Lleyton Hewitt at Cincinnati – as Thompson gradually took control against Hijikata.
After claiming the first set in a tiebreak, he secured the first and only break of serve in the fourth game of the second set.
And although he admitted “I didn’t make a first serve” in the final game, the older Australian secured victory on his third match point.
“It’s incredibly tough to play against him because he plays such aggressive brand of tennis,” Thompson said. “But I think I played the big points well when it counted.”
Aussies in action – ‘s-Hertogenbosch
Men’s singles, semifinals
Jordan Thompson (AUS) d [LL] Rinky Hijikata (AUS) 7-6(3) 6-3
Men’s singles, final
Jordan Thompson (AUS) v Tallon Griekspoor (NED)
Book online, play today: Visit play.tennis.com.au to get out on court and have some fun!